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What Little Freedom

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What Little Freedom


Characters - Vito
Summons - Cookie

Tags - @Priestess
Background Ambiance (If you so choose) - Link

 

Reyer Prison, the eyesore of Genesaris. The residential district was actually quite pretty, but looks seemed to be all it could offer. Crime was all to common, despite being sat at the walls of a prison. But it wasn’t you typical mobster or drug dealers you had to watch out for, it was the guards. You could easily bribe your way through anything, the only true obstacles are those with bigger wallets or willing people willing to get their own hands dirtier. Cookie slowly crawled her way onto Vito’s, trying to find comfort in the unfamiliar territory.  

The raider had been summoned to aid for an all too common reason, investigate and kill. A concerned citizen, small town, prison and monster seemed to be the premise of any good hunt. But for Vito it was the definition of a headache, as in the end it usually turns out to be rumors or a crazed neighbor. Whilst the raider was by no means a notorious and well known monster hunter, he was well seasoned. From demons to ‘gods’, Vito had battled them all. But regardless, one bad move is all it took so back up was requested.

Thoughts?

‘Shithole, yours?’

Same, any idea when your partner will be here?

‘No clue, hopefully soon. The sooner we start, the sooner we finish.’

Vito stood at the edge of town, staring in. He watched a few townsfolk dart back and forth, chattering and bickering at one another. Light was dying and night was soon to follow, the sun had already disappeared behind the walls of the prison and few a few rays of sunshine was all that was left. He watched the streets light one by one light up, curtains close and the quiet takeover. The distance humming and calls of wildlife drowned out what little noise was left of the town.

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*Clip-clop, clip-clop, clip-clop*

The sound of hooves moving down the dirt path that slowly transitioned to a wood-bridge road echoed as a carriage, pulled by two brown steeds, approached the entrance to the city and came to a stop near a lantern. "This is it, my lady." a male voice said from the cabin of the carriage. The door on the other side, opposite Vito, had opened and a person exited. "Thank you, kind sir. May your generosity be returned with blessings." a female voice said to him. The voice was soft spoken, but sounded in no way timid. "Sir." the voice said, with the man replying "Yes?" 

Woman: "I highly advise spending the night here in the city."
Man: "I can't, miss. I have a deadline to make."
Woman: "Sir, the roads will be quite dangerous, tonight. Please spend the night here?"
Man: "I really can't. Boss'll have a heifer if I'm late with his wares."
Woman: "As another favor to me, then? I would be indebted to you for doing this, for me."
Man: "I... Uh.. O-okay. Fine."
Woman: "Thank you, once more."

The carriage pulled off, heading into the town by the prison and leaving behind someone who was far from the ideal person to be going into danger with. She was average in height for a woman, and had a curved figure. Her hips and bust were generous, but not gratuitous, or unnatural looking. The rising moon reflected off of her skin, making her seem to glow like a moon spirit of sorts while also revealing the lack of any blemishes or discoloration at all. In fact, it was clear that she'd never once in her life had even a tiny pimple. The light from the lantern reflected off of her black, silky hair and contrasted the moon's light to outline her body in a warm, orange glow. She looked at the staff in her hand, which had the Scales of Justice mounted on the top of it. The scales lifted and pointed in Vito's direction. Aya looked towards the man, her maroon eyes locking on to him. Soft and kind, they were, but the energy she gave off would insist that she was far from a passive and submissive person.

Aya began approaching the man, the soft padding of her slippers against the wooden ground rhythmically getting closer until she stopped a few feet away from him. "Hello." she said and gave a light bow. "I am Aya, a priestess of judgement." 

A priestess wasn't the kind of person you brought in for hunting monsters or doing detective work. They were frail things and could barely carry any weight, so were useless even as pack mules. They tended to lack offensive abilities, making them a liability, since they were easy targets that needed protecting. The only thing a priestess, or a priest for the men, were truly good for was dealing with the undead, or performing exorcism. Aya's build would suggest she were no different. A pretty face with a fancy stick and a silver tongue. Vito would later find out that the person whom he'd originally contacted passed the job down the line, to someone who passed the buck, to someone who did the same by means of divine invocation. After Vito had introduced himself, or if he decided not to, Aya would say "I'm not particularly knowledgeable about why I was requested to come. All I know is that my god lead me here. Would you be so kind as to fill me in?"

 

 


@Rabbit

Edited by Priestess

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Vito watched the carriage slowly pull up, the rickety wood could be heard from far off. The person summoned came forth, as she approached Vito noticed she was far younger than most other priestesses he'd seen. But she was physically like most others of her role, she was near flawless and gave of an innocent vibe. Whilst by no means an issue for Vito, he'd have to keep a watchful eye to make sure predatory guards keep their distance. Once close enough to which the light shinned upon them both, Vito gave a quick nod and began giving her a quick brief. 

On 9/5/2019 at 9:14 PM, Priestess said:

"Hello." she said and gave a light bow. "I am Aya, a priestess of judgement." 

'She's not what I was expecting, but she'll do.'

"Welcome, Priestess. You may call me Vito, this here is Cookie." He pointed to his familiar, who stared wide eyed into the lantern.

On 9/5/2019 at 9:14 PM, Priestess said:

"I'm not particularly knowledgeable about why I was requested to come. All I know is that my god lead me here. Would you be so kind as to fill me in?"

"I'm the one who summoned you here on behalf of our client, who we'll be meeting now. He asked for a priest, he didn't give me a reason why. We'll be sticking to the back allies, I've already paid off the gang to let us through without issues. We'll be investigating a local murder, which can't be explained by any of the authorities. I can answer more questions along the way, but for now we need to go meet our client. He hasn't given us a name, in fear of angering the guards. Lets get moving."

Spoiler

 

Vito took lead and began walking towards the Village, passing through an alley tucked behind a butchers. The foul stench of rotting meat and flesh engulfed the alley, clearly attracting plenty of rodents.  They darted around, carrying bits of animal parts and bone in their mouths. The dark alleys just barely had enough light for the average person to see, which wasn't helped by the dark stone brick walls. A light rain began falling, only adding to the miserable nature. Thankfully, the meeting point was only a minute away. 

"So priestess, ever been to Reyer Prison?"

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"A pleasure to meet you, Mister Vito, and Cookie." Aya said after Vito's explanation of the situation, which was followed up with "I look forward to working with you both." The mission was something that, surprisingly, well suited to her abilities. She didn't mention anything about her non-basic skills. Aya wasn't one to boast or flaunt her uniqueness, such things were frowned upon by beings meant to embody virtue. They were to solve a murder that the guards were too inept to solve, themselves. Either that, or they were too corrupt to solve it, and were being paid or bribed. They would find the truth behind the situation in due time.

The creature with Vito was a curious one. Not quite an owl, but not quite a feline... of sorts... It was actually a bit difficult for Aya to figure what it was. She hadn't noticed one of the guards staring at her rear end as she passed by, nor would she care even if she did. She also didn't notice the rats on the ground of the alley as they scurried about, many of them moving out of her way to avoid being stepped on. Her mind was more focused on the familiar, it was truly worth that much of her focus. Aya shook her head rapidly to snap herself back to reality when Vito spoke. "I am sorry, but I've never been there. I admittedly have very little knowledge of the outside world." Aya turned her gaze to the familiar. "I don't wish to offend, but may I ask what Cookie is? I have not come across such a creature in my studies."

If Vito had told Aya about the familiar, she would ask permission to touch it. If given permission, she would use the tip of her finger to gently scratch its side before commenting that it was 'Quite fascinating' as she worded it. If not given permission, she would respect his judgement. Regardless of this, Aya would ask "What could you tell me about this city?"

 


@Rabbit

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1 hour ago, Priestess said:

"I am sorry, but I've never been there. I admittedly have very little knowledge of the outside world."

"That's no issue, I'll be the guide for this job. The knowledge you already carry will be enough, for now at least." Vito said, as he turned another corner. The alleyways all looked the same, with little to no difference.

1 hour ago, Priestess said:

"I don't wish to offend, but may I ask what Cookie is? I have not come across such a creature in my studies."

"Offend? Nonsense, you'd never have met such a creature. Cookie was created by a friend of mine, one of a kind. You'd never see such a creature in the wild or as someones pet, unless someone copied it. Cookie is a summon, created by materials of other creatures." He walked round another corner, then another. The alleys twisted and turned, making most mazes seem like child's play. The client was very cautious, this much was obvious.

1 hour ago, Priestess said:

"What could you tell me about this city?"

"It's a shithole, enough said. The corruption here makes is some of the worst Genesaris has to offer, but it's reasonable safe when it comes to violent crime. If you keep your mouth shut, then you should make it through just fine." There was a brief pause as he came to a wooden door, numbered 74. "We're here."

(Home Image - Link)

Spoiler

 

Pushing the door open, the two were greeted to a cosy looking one floor house. The interior was mostly wooden, slightly dusty and under kept. The interior was one large floor, with no division. The fireplace was roaring with a rocking chair sat beside it, a large table sat in the middle of the room with a note, the kitchen still had fresh produce atop it counters and bookshelves had plenty of knowledge to give.  A bed sat in the corner, its sheet stained in blood. The covers had the outline of a body underneath, the victim in question. The raider walked over to the note.


To Vito and friend, 
I thank you for attending to the issue at hand, as most others have given up.
Unfortunately, I was unable to stay due to my presence being needed elsewhere.
The man in question was named Matheo Breunig, a popular potions seller.
The reason of his death is still unknown, hence the reason you have been hired.
Please discover the reason he died, then report to me at the address listed below.

Good luck, 
Honings.


Vito handed the note to Aya to read, then made his way to the bed. The fireplace flickered, casting the body in random moments of light and shadows. As Vito moved the sheets, the body was shown. He was middle ages, human and well dressed. Despite the sheets being covered in blood, he didn't have any notable damage. No cuts, bruises or blood on his body at all. 

"Strange, lets have a look about."

Edited by Rabbit

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Evidently, Aya would be operating on a need-to-know basis, as far as the task at hand was concerned. Vito was more forthcoming with information about his companion, stating that the reason she'd never come across it in her studies, was because it officially didn't exist as part of the natural anima mundi. It was an anomaly, separate from the cycle of natural life and death- a product of magic, science, and alchemy. It was a chimera, to put it simply. Crafted from parts of other animals to bring their traits into a single being. Her request to pet Cookie seemed to have either gone entirely over Vito's head, or gone ignored, and Aya wasn't one to push for something that wasn't a necessity.

Vito's description of the city was that it was a horrible place, where the people in charge operated for their own best interests, rather than the benefit of the people who's lives are effected by them. At the bare minimum, the guards would at least handle violence. When Vito said that if she kept her mouth shut, she'd be safe, Aya nodded even though Vito likely couldn't see behind him. 

Through many twists and turns, they ended up at door that was announced to be their destination. Behind said door was a place that seemed quite cozy. It was a simple place, with a fire, a small bar, and nothing that seemed extremely opulent- far from what Aya would expect from a random murder. A bed in the corner with a blood covered mount atop it, and a note on the table in the middle of the room were their greeting party. Vito had gone to the note, and Aya to the corpse. She tipped her staff over its head, dangling the two scales and said "May your death be punishment enough." before the staff gave a gentle white glow. His soul had been sent to the God of Justice, to be judged based on his life's work. No secret hidden, no deed unpunished.

Aya was handed the letter and Vito uncovered the corpse. His inspection revealed an disproportionate quantity, when compared to the amount of damage to the corpse, or lack there of. Aya's eyes narrowed on his garnets as she noticed it. Even Vito thought it was odd, and recommended having a look about. Aya watched Vito as he went to inspect things, but there was something she found odd about this entire room. It didn't smell like death. In order for others to have tried to solve the mystery and failed, time would have passed, enough of it for even the most tenacious of detectives to quit. More time would have passed to get in touch with Vito, more time still to contact the Shrine of Judgement, and further on for Aya to arrive at the scene. "This cannot be the correct one..." Aya said in a soft tone. Aya stood her staff up and released it, and the staff didn't fall over. "Reveal truth in the face of lies." she said.

The sound of something banging against the door echoed through the room, just before the door swung open and two guards walked in. The door, the guards, and the thing they carried, all held a type of ghost-like visage to it- clearly an illusion and not truly present. "Do you really think this'll work?" one of the men asked. "We aren't paid to think. Just drop it off on the bed and make it seem appropriate, that's it." the other replied. They moved through the house, taking the clothes from the old corpse and putting it on the new one. After they switched the clothes, they put the new body in the bed and covered it up. "What do we do with these?" the first guard asked while holding up the old clothes. The other guard reached over and grabbed them before tossing the rags in the fire. "No evidence, no souvenirs." that same guard was the first to head towards the door. The first guard grabbed the back of his armor and reached around with a cloth covered hand containing a dagger that was thrust into the guard's spine. "No loose ends." he said grimly. 

The rag soaked up what little blood leaked through the cut, and the corpse was dragged to a different corner of the room that appeared to be arbitrary. At first glance, it was just a floor with a small table on top it. The guard set the corpse down and moved the table, before lifting the floor boards and opening a hatch under them. The illusion ended and the staff began falling over, only to be grabbed by Aya before it could. Aya looked at the spot where the trap door was, and asked "Shall we, as they say... Jump down the rabbit hole?"

 

 


@Rabbit

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Vito stood before the corpse, confused at the situation. ‘Potential brain trauma? Poisoned? Vomiting blood?’ The possibilities could go on forever, but answers seemed limited. Aya, however, had a much easier way of determining the issue. Vito watched her staff stand on end, the next thing putting Vito on guard. Two guards burst through the door, the sound nearly making Vito draw his weapon. He thankfully noticed their ghostly appearance, in which they seemed to reenact the man’s situation. His corpse was nothing more than a decoy, trying to act as a dead end to investigators. Successfully, to add. The scene eventually revealed a hatch, hidden by the furniture. 

‘Hmm, a good new skill I could learn.’

Could you please just finish your training in one area before moving to another?’

On 9/9/2019 at 3:50 AM, Priestess said:

"Shall we, as they say... Jump down the rabbit hole?"

“No need to ask twice, Priestess.” Vito shifted the furniture and pried open the floor boards. The first thing he noticed was footprints, clearly marked amidst the dust.

“Looks like we’re following someone closely, been on guard and move slowly.”

Vito drew his swordstaff, its blade going up in flames. The heat emitting slight blackened the nearby wood, but thankfully didn't ignite it.  With the dark spiralling staircase now lit up with flickering fire, Vito began the descent. After only a few steps a sudden chill began falling upon him, sending a shiver down his spine. Despite being only five steps down, he could see his own breath. The steps got icy as they got lower and lower, the frost on the walls got thicker. The cold surfaces began reflecting the light like a mirror, somewhat beautiful to behold.

“Watch the ice, I have no clue where it’s all coming from. But it doesn't look like we're going to be welcome wherever we're going.”

Spoiler

 

The echoes of their steps got louder and louder, seeming to break through to somewhere. After what felt like an eternity of descending through madness, they eventually came to a cave of sorts. It was pitch black, no light sources seemed to be present. The dirt beneath them was permafrost, the multiple sources of running water could be heard.  But thanks to Vito’s sensory scrying, he could see through Cookies eyes. The cave was enormous, water trickled down from from cracks in the stone above. At the very end of the cave stood two giants doors, its surfaces engraved with random spiraling patterns. (Concept Art - Link)

“At the end, two doors. This cave is massive, but it looks naturally formed.” With one quick thrust fire spewed from Vito’s sword staff, the flames landed on various surfaces lighting the cave up. But rather than just going out, the fire sat in place burning. With the cave lit up, the details were now clearer.

Edited by Rabbit

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Vito took the lead once more and did the heavy lifting to move the table and open the door while Aya stood aside and watched. He warned her that they were moving into close quarters, and that they weren't far behind their target. When he told Aya to keep her guard up, Aya nodded in agreement and let Vito take a couple extra steps before following. 

He pulled out a rather brutish looking staff that Aya found herself somewhat interested in. As it was drawn, it lit itself ablaze, providing warmth and light to the surrounding area. Aya was more interested in it, seeing the beautiful flame flickering about. This warmth, however, wouldn't last for long. Not far down, the air became frigid, and ice began forming over the steps and walls. Vito warned Aya of it, stating he wasn't sure where it was coming from. "I suppose it would be boring if things went smoothly." Aya said in regards to Vito's comment about the hospitality of their target.

Their footsteps got louder as they descended into through a constantly echoing chamber, they arrived at what appeared to be a natural cave system. Despite caves normally being quite warm, these ones retained the frigid air from up above. Other than Vito's glaive, the room was entirely dark. Stepping forward through the blackness, Aya could tell the ground was frozen solid. Vito informed Aya of what he was seeing, a pair of doors at the other side of the cavern. Vito used a very handy technique to create a flame that lingered in multiple areas, giving Aya the ability to see beyond a foot or five. 

"What an absurdly large door... Do you suppose the architects are compensating for something? Perhaps they were quite short?" Aya stated while approaching the door that was easily six times her height, maybe a bit taller. When they got near it, Aya placed her hand on the seam between the two door halves and looked up at it with a little bit of awe. "Regardless, it is quite impressive." she commented, adding to her earlier comment. Aya closed her eyes and her staff glowed slightly.

"Good. You brought him along. I was worried you'd have left him somewhere discrete." the voice of a hooded woman said. She was standing not far from where Aya was, and speaking to the guard who was seen killing his fellow guardsman up above. "You were pretty adamant about me draggin' him down here. So, you wanna tell me why a corpse is needed?" the guard replied. The woman raised her hand, putting a finger to her lip. "Hmmmmm.... No." she said and approached the door. In her other hand was a type of orb that was held out, giving off an energy that seemed to resonate with the door, causing it to open. The women and guard went through, and the vision ended.

"I'll need a moment please." Aya said while keeping her hand on the door. It would be the first time Aya used her abilities to open a door that she wasn't supposed to open. Her habit of doing that was actually the reason why the Shrine Mother beefed up security for her personal library. "How annoying..." Aya commented, seemingly out of the blue. While the world around them was no longer a vision, Aya was viewing the history of the door from the beginning, when it was built. After a minute, Vito would hear grinding from inside the door, as well as some clicking as the mechanisms were being activated. The door cracked open and Aya took her hand off it, opened her eyes to reveal the maroon orbs and stepped back. "This door was designed with several redundancies to prevent it from being opened with external magic. Unfortunately, I am unsure of what's on the other side." she informed Vito.

"Ruhig, Stille, Dämpfen."

Vito would see the light from his fires fade completely to black for a brief moment before returning, much like a power outage. Aya would then say "Your movements have been silenced. I am unable to cast blessings on myself, but if we encounter an opponent, they'll only hear one set of footsteps. The element of surprise is still with us." If Vito had done something to test Aya's blessing, such as stomping the ground, or using his swordstaff to slash the wall, he'd notice not a single sound was produced. Aya would gesture to the now opening door, as though telling Vito that he was still their point-man.

 


@Rabbit
OOC: Sorry about the long wait. I was working on lore for Aya's shrine. 

 

 

Edited by Priestess

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On 9/15/2019 at 9:07 AM, Priestess said:

"What an absurdly large door... Do you suppose the architects are compensating for something? Perhaps they were quite short?"

"Regardless, it is quite impressive." 

"It truly wouldn't surprise me. If their was a place that man enjoyed compensating, it's in Reyer. But sometimes it does bring out impressive feats."

Vito watched another scene unfold, which contained a hooded woman and the betrayal of a fellow guardsmen. Unfortunately, the hooded woman kept her secrets to herself. Using a strange orb, she managed to open the door and lure the remaining guard inside. Everything faded, only leaving the raider more confused. "traitorous bitch, villains are mean't to reveal secrets!".

Regardless of Vito's strange reasoning, the priestess only had more answers to give. Vito watched the priestess at work, as she not only opened the door, but cast a blessing that removed all sound made by the raider. Vito approached the now opening door, finding his silent footstep both strange and weirdly uncomfortable. Even drawing his swordstaff and igniting flames made nothing, yet another thing he'd have to learn.

'Useful.'

'For once, we can agree.' 

On 9/15/2019 at 9:07 AM, Priestess said:

"Your movements have been silenced. I am unable to cast blessings on myself, but if we encounter an opponent, they'll only hear one set of footsteps. The element of surprise is still with us."

"You're a magic multitool, my client was right to request your presence. But I'm not worried about the noise, I'm worried what would require such a large and highly enchanted door. Reyer is a prison, this was most likely designed to keep things in as well as out. From the sewer system to the mines, it's all designed to trap people in. And this one, no one was mean't to find this. Be on your guard, ready to run."

Vito walked through the doors, down the silent tunnels. The only sound was Aya's footsteps, he could see the flickering of flames. They walked for nearly 30 minutes, easily enough for the tunnel to extend past the boundary of the city itself. Suddenly, they approached something odd. It was a wall of black, a complete absence of light. It acted as a void, shrouding whatever lay in front. Vito put his hand through it, then pulled it back. No harm came to him, but he did not want to continue any further.

"Black magic, acting as a cloak. Simple, but effective" Vito crouched on the ground, drawing necromatic symbols in the dirt with the butt of his weapon. Reaching into a pouch, he sprinkled herbs and flowers into the carving. Then went back over them, repeating the process a few times. "What's your opinion on black magic, Aya? Some consider it evil, others believe it to be the full exploration of magic. Me, I consider it a tool. Much like a sword, I think it can be used for both good and evil." 

Once he'd gone over it two more times, he clicked his fingers. The void disappeared in an instant, revealing an enormous cave. Crystals sat on the walls and ceiling, providing light. Around the walls were ledges, acting as a path. Sat dead in the center was a pit. The floor was covered in salt and silver powder, a strange paste glued it in place. It smelled of decaying flesh, as it had been built up for years.

However, none of that would've been noticed. For the main site was something far greater. An ettine stood chained, prisoner within the pit. The chains wrapped around his body, twisted an turned in a way that eternally bound him to the spot. His body was covered in black symbolic markings and scars, his left head had its eyes and mouth sewn together. Its clothing was made from hides, the material seemingly ancient. His tusks had been removed, sawn off.

"Your movements are silent, but your friends are not. Come closer, young ones. But know that your god will not follow, for here there is only salt and silver."

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